Posts Tagged ‘Liberty School Board’

It’s election time again!

Make sure you take a peek at the ballot before you go. You can download a copy by clicking this link: Clay County General Election Candidates.

Liberty School Board

Select two for 3 year term

For those that have read my blog for some time, you know that I have been a big fan of Scott Connor. Mr. Connor is one of the good guys who ran for office for the right reasons. I have always found him willing to listen to anybody of any political stripe. He is a principled conservative. I believe that his leadership is a great asset to the Liberty School Board, and he definitely deserves to be reelected.

M. Andrew Roffman appears to be a qualified candidate. I did some searching on the Missouri Ethics Commission website to see where he has been involved politically. I found an odd PAC that he donated to in October 2012. The name is hilarious (Conservatives for Professional Law Enforcement) and is typical Vic Hurlbert, et. al.  It appears to be something that was set up so “Republicans” like Vic Hurlbert and his pals could donate money to Bob Boydston’s campaign. A total of $4,271 given to the campaign was distributed to a printer called Almar Printing. I can’t prove that this was for Boydston, but the odds are good. A total of $200 was donated by Roffman in October of 2012. Also, he donated to Gov. Nixon in 2008.

Mr. Roffman does not have a campaign website, so the information is scarce. His interview with the Tribune and his performance at the candidates forum were both positive.

I was not impressed with either of the other two candidates at the board forum a while back.

Kansas City Questions

Question 1-Kansas City Health Tax

“Shall the City of Kansas City, Missouri be authorized to renew the current tax levy of 22 cents per $100.00 assessed valuation dedicated to ambulance services, emergency medical services, hospital and public health purposes for a period of nine years with the additional revenues to continue to be distributed as follows: the revenue derived from 3 ½ cents of the levy to ambulance services, the revenue derived from 3 ½ cents of the levy to non-for-profit  neighborhood health centers, and the revenue derived from 15 cents of the levy to Truman Medical Center?”

I will be voting no. The campaign fliers for this have been incredibly annoying and insulting. I’m tired of paying for people’s health care. There is another way to finance ambulances.

Question 2

Shall the City of Kansas City, Missouri be authorized to remove all existing exemptions from payment of the existing convention and tourism tax on transient guests, except the exemption held by the United States government, and to collect the existing tax of seven and one-half percent of the amount of sales or charges for all sleeping rooms paid by the transient guests of hotels, motels and tourist courts situated within the city, except for persons on United States government official business, in order to provide additional funds for the promotion of convention and visitor business and neighborhood tourism and support of city owned convention and entertainment facilities?

I will be voting yes. This weird exemption needs to go.

Question 3

“Shall the City of Kansas City adopt an ordinance proposed by a committee of petitioners to prohibit the City from entering into, facilitating or giving permission for any future contracts whereby the City directly financially involved in facilities that produce or procure components for, assemble, or refurbish nuclear weapons, except for outside infrastructure improvements customarily provided by cities and governmental services ordinarily provided to citizens, and also barring any future funding or subsidizing such facility through taxes, bonds, loans, tax credits, credit or any other financial scheme or mechanism?  The definition of such facility excludes providers of goods and services which were not produced for the purpose of nuclear weapons components production but which may be purchased by such a facility as a consumer.”

I will be voting no. Even the liberals get this is a bad idea.

Maybe the only bright spot that came out of the Clay County Caucus was that I got to meet Dan Krueger, candidate for Liberty School Board. As you may remember, I endorsed Charlene Armitage and David Evans for school board in a recent post here. It was nice to see Mr. Krueger at the Caucus because I was happy to find out that he is a conservative.

I want to make a public apology here to Mr. Krueger. I did not do the depth of research that I should have done for my endorsements this time around. This blog and my political pursuits is a hobby, and a way that I try and give to my community. With so many people clueless on topics and issues that matter, and an absolutely laughable excuse of a newspaper here in Liberty (trust me, I just got my first issue since I subscribed, LOL! what a joke), I figure this is my way to do something that matters. You have only so much time in life, and I didn’t invest as much time as I should on candidate research for this election.

So, where am I at with regards to my endorsement? At this point, I would say we have three quality candidates for Liberty School Board and two candidates that you shouldn’t vote for. The three candidates that belong on our board are Armitage, Evans, or Krueger. I am no longer openly stating who I am voting for in this election. It will be two of those top three. I’ll let you decide what you think is best.

Mr. Krueger and I spoke for about an hour last Wednesday night. I found Mr. Krueger intelligent, qualified for the job, and definitely willing to learn. I ask him to outline what he thought were the three largest challenges facing Liberty School District.

1) He believes the district is facing unique challenges as we head into the future. The Liberty School District performs well academically and being able to maintain all of the options the districts offers kids is going to be tough. He feels that the district does not focus enough on the higher academic learners while focusing too much on the bottom.

In the course of his discussion on this issue he mentioned his distaste towards No Child Left Behind (NCLB). I was happy to hear him say that. NCLB has been an epic failure, and it was one of the worst legislative “accomplishments” of the Bush administration. (Legislative accomplishments and George Bush in the same sentence is pretty funny, but that’s another blog post.) He seemed to sympathize with the position that the federal government has absolutely no role in your child’s education. We both agreed that there is little that can be done by the local administration. Until we start sending people to Washington, D.C. that agrees with this position our hands are effectively tied.

2) He still feels that there is a large issue of trust with the district. Some of it is a left-over feeling from the financial disaster that was the former administration. He also felt that the board’s actions in seeking a levy that included $4 million dollars for a football stadium in the current economic environment was harmful. I second that sentiment. Personally, I think it borders on being out of touch with reality. Mr. Krueger made an excellent point. When you run around saying the sky is falling because of students going to classes in trailers and then you ask for a football stadium, you seem to be a little out of touch.

The more I think back on that levy; the more frustrated with it I get. I still don’t regret my support of it, I think the needs outweighed the stupid decision to ask for the stadium. You pay attention to public education long enough, and you learn that poor decisions are not in short supply. Frankly, I don’t want to hear your sob story about the poor football program and the concern that the kids would not have a place to play. I’m almost to the point that we ought to shut-down our high school sports programs until the economy turns around. Maybe at that point you might wake up the zombies (average Americans) that think this time is not any different than in the past. I believe the district would have passed that levy with flying colors without that stadium on it.

Mr. Krueger also believes that there is a lack of trust among teachers toward the administration. Now, his sample size was small, but the fact that that sentiment is out there should alarm the board and administration. Oh, guess what the teachers are frustrated with? They didn’t like the fact that the board asked for the stadium in the levy and seemed to not put the emphasis on more important things.

3) The third challenge that Mr. Krueger felt the district was facing was how to grow intelligently. That’s definitely a concern of mine as well.

Mr. Krueger explained to me what he does in his career. He definitely brings some skills to the table that would benefit the board.

One concern I had was the fact that Mr. Krueger had little knowledge of Common Core State Standards. This is a huge deal right now in education. The shift from the Missouri Grade Level Expectations to the national standards will dominate the next couple years. While I no doubt that Mr. Krueger will do his research if elected, I was a little surprised he didn’t know more about it. To be fair, I can’t speak to Mr. Evans’ knowledge of the standards. I do know Ms. Armitage spoke of them at the school forum.

As stated above, the decision is yours, I’m no longer trying to sway you one way or another with the exception that your vote should go for one of the three following candidates-Armitage, Evans, or Krueger. Make sure you get out and vote on April 3rd. After all, only 10% of us will so your vote definitely matters.

 

My wife and I attended the Liberty School Board candidate forum on March 1, 2012. The five candidates that attended and answered questions were Charlene Armitage, Becky Anderson-Poitras, Dan Krueger, Bruce Cantwell, and David Evans.

I guess the best way to describe the candidates is that they can be placed in two tiers, qualified, and….well…thanks for participating in our civic process.

Our first tier candidates are Armitage, Krueger, and Evans. The second tier candidates are Anderson-Poitras and Cantwell.

The two candidates that I am endorsing are Charlene Armitage and David Evans.

ClayCoMOPolitics has endorsed Ms. Armitage before. Ms. Armitage has 30 years of experience inside of education. She has been a teacher, a principal, a director of HR, and a school board member. Ms. Armitage strikes me as the type that is able to build consensus and work with people of differing opinions. She seems to have a good grasp on the needs of the Liberty School District and the direction it needs to be going.

I was impressed with Mr. Evans for a couple reasons. First, his private sector experience:

  • Business Development, 2008 – 2011, Cerner Corporation, Kansas City, Missouri
  • Human Resources, 1998 – 2008, Cerner Corporation, Kansas City, Missouri
  • Benefits & Payroll, 1993 – 1998, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City
  • Human Resource Consulting, 1990 – 1992, Hewitt Associates, Woodlands, Texas

I think having people like this on a school board in economic times like these is an imperative. I want someone who has accomplished, who has led, and who has had a large role in things that matter. It was apparent that Mr. Evans has an experience that matches that order.

Second, as Mr. Evans answered questions, it became quickly apparent that he has a skill set that will be a huge advantage to the board. I was most impressed with his understanding of education and how it connects to the real world. One of the questions was in regards to 21st century education. He mentioned something to the fact that learners need to know how to learn, that education must be relevant, and that the district needs to engage with workplaces. Yes on all three points!

Mr. Krueger is qualified enough and has a great background. He probably would make a decent school board member. Unfortunately, I was left with a similar impression as I was the last time he ran for school board, just not a lot of substance and I was not impressed with any of his answers.

UPDATE 3/17/2012 I met Mr. Krueger today at the Clay County Republican brawl….err…caucus. (Oh, do I have some thoughts on that!!!) He is a nice guy, and definitely qualified. I offered the ability to have a one-on-one conversation with him and gave him my number. He believes that I should give him a second look. I am definitely willing to listen.

I see no reason to seriously consider the other two candidates. Neither of them have websites or Facebook pages that give you any ability to find out any more about them. Ms. Anderson-Poitras’ responses were weak and struck me as if she was reaching for an answer. At times it seemed like she was stringing multi-syllabic words together just because they sounded good. Mr. Cantwell’s responses made little sense. Looking back at my notes from the meeting I have “rambling” written with regards to his answers. I spoke with a friend who was in attendance and he said he was trying to sum up their answers in a couple words. He said Mr. Cantwell’s responses kept ending up as question marks. I respect the fact that these two individuals are interested in running for office, but I just do not see them as viable candidates for Liberty School Board.